“What a lesson for these young people, that if you share, you give up some of yourself for everyone around you, if you care more about your teammates than yourself, it’s amazing what you can accomplish,” Kentucky coach John Calipari after winning the 2012 NCAA national championship.
In an earlier blog, Thought of the day: players are getting dumber, I talked about, well, players getting dumber. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m being primitive, nor do I want you to think I’m generalising, I just want to express my concern as a soccer player for the lack of role models and leaders in the game.
Over the past decade or so, professional soccer leagues have made it a requirement that prior to a games kickoff, the two teams are to walk out together, address the fans in a line, and then shake hands. I always thought it was too theatrical and senseless, really.
The expectations we’ve set for ourselves as a society have become unrealistic. In every aspect of our lives we demand immediate results. “Why the hell won’t this website load faster, I’ve been waiting 8 seconds”; “why haven’t I received your text message yet? It’s been 10 seconds!” Give it a second, it’s sending a signal to space you whining parasite. The same expectations have transferred into the realm of sports. We expect coaches to have immediate results, i.e. lead a team to a championship or nothing. This is not only impossible, but ineffective.
I recently watched a documentary produced by HBO called 24/7 Rangers/Flyers: Road to the Winter Classic. The intent of the documentary is to follow these two NHL teams around in their day-to-day duties showing a detailed behind the scene look at their lives. It’s a truly special opportunity to understand the life of a professional organization. Now, what I took away from the documentary might not be what HBO intended for me to take away.
A good friend of mine recently posted his thoughts on Facebook with respect to the December 10, 2011 match between Real Madrid and Barcelona (aka El Clasico). Boy are they bang on…
Random El Clasico thoughts:
1. Messi always delivers against madrid
2. How ever good messi plays against madrid, is usually how bad ronaldo plays against barca
3. I miss when kaka used to be a relevant footballer
4. Sergio ramos is a maniac
5. If madrid has no answer for iniesta, no one does, just amazing
In the wake of allegations that some of the top soccer players in Europe are guilty of racist remarks towards fellow players, you would think that this would have the obsessive concern of the FIFA president, Sepp Blatter. However, Blatter insists that racism is not relevant in soccer, and that players should resolve the situation with a handshake. Wait, what?
I recently read an interview with Anson Dorrance, famous University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach. In his interview, he talked about the importance of the psychological aspect of soccer – more specifically, core values that help create a positive psychology.
Many instances in life really test our patience and our nerves. Often when we’re in the midst of a battle – a soccer game – we get caught up in a war of words or a sequence of tackles that cause us to lose our heads. Typically, this is where the situation gets the better of us and we do things we otherwise would never consider doing in a stable state of mind.
There’s an age old adage that suggests winning ugly is still winning. However, many teams and athletes alike are obsessed with this idea of winning perfectly. Why is this?
A good team captain is just as important has having a good coach. A captains responsibilities stretch far beyond the role of a field general; he/she assume the role of motivator, authority, friend, enemy, guard, idol and warrior. A captain is responsible – more than anyone else on the field – for the teams successes and failures. It is for this reason that one of the most important decisions a coach will make is who will assume the captains armband.
My team had a game recently and, because of my injury, I was sitting on the bench with our coach and other team-mates. When you remove yourself from the game, you take on a different perspective and, therefore, see the game differently. Your experience of the game is entirely different. The very first thing I realized is just how many bad decisions my team-mates were making. It’s not to say there weren’t good decision, and many of them, but the bad decisions really stuck out.